As the English Premier League season kicked off this weekend, fans were witness to the newly introduced VAR visuals system that shows the outcome of decisions on video displays.
However, while the majority of fans across the league are able to see incidents on large video screens, Manchester United’s Old Trafford doesn’t have that luxury as, despite being the largest club venue in the country, it has no live video display – only a simple digital board for score and time. Liverpool FC’s Anfield also does not have a live video display, and are the only two venues in the Premier League to lack the technology.
So in order to ensure fans don’t miss out and are kept informed, organizers at the club have decided to do is utilize the LED videoboards located on the perimeter of the pitch, which usually display advertising and sponsor messages, to communicate VAR decisions to the live crowd and TV audience.
A statement on the club’s website read: “With a priority on the supporter experience within the ground, at Old Trafford, this will be done via the LED scoreboards, pitchside digital boards and over the PA system, which will simultaneously pass on the details and decisions that come from the Premier League HQ when a VAR review is taking place.
“United’s focus is on ensuring the matchday experience isn’t overly impacted by the new format, so this differs from some other grounds that have the option to show VAR-decision replays via in-stadium screens.”
VAR was first seen in club soccer last season as the FA trialed the process. It was tested in the Carabao Cup, and Emirates FA Cup, while UEFA introduced it to the Champions League.